State Grant of $4.8 Million Awarded to Tulare to Address Homelessness Through Housing

The city of Tulare, Central Valley, California after a year of dedicated preparation and implementation of various programs to address homelessness, has been granted additional funding. This financial boost will enable them to assist even more individuals in finding permanent housing solutions.

On June 14, Tulare was awarded $4.8 million in Encampment Resolution Funding (ERF) to further its ongoing efforts in aiding homeless individuals and facilitating their transition into permanent housing. Deputy City Manager Josh McDonnell expressed the city’s commitment to expanding their existing programs with this additional funding, building upon the progress they have already made. A significant portion, $1.2 million, of the awarded funds will be allocated toward the construction of a permanent homeless shelter.

“This was fantastic,” exclaimed McDonnell. “It’s a continuation, round two of the same grant, and the city was successful. This is a huge boost to the city.”

This second round of funding will enable the scaling of their initiatives, providing services to an additional 100 individuals currently residing in the encampment. Presently, there are approximately 170 individuals in the encampment. It is important to note that participation in the ERF program is voluntary, and those currently in the encampment are not required to be a part of the program. According to Alexis Costales, Senior Housing and Grant Specialist for the city of Tulare, the past year has been a valuable learning experience.

“The ERF two application is to scale and address some of those gaps, if you will, or some of those shortcomings in ERF one,” Costales explained. “All the great work to date and the learning to date helped prepare the city of Tulare to compete for additional ERF two funds.”

The city of Tulare received its first round of funding in March 2022, amounting to $1.5 million. City staff made effective use of these funds, establishing a program that has already assisted approximately 70 individuals experiencing homelessness. These individuals have willingly transitioned from encampments along Centennial Park to the city’s Tulare Cares Encampment, where they have access to various services such as social workers, mobile healthcare, showers, meals, and more, all conveniently located in a centralized facility. Since the inception of the program, 24 individuals out of the initial 70 have successfully exited the program, with 16 individuals securing permanent housing.

Costales expressed optimism that the second round of funding will sustain the city’s efforts until November 2024, as they are still utilizing some of the funds from the first round. The $4.8 million grant will be allocated across various areas to maximize its impact. Approximately 21% of the funding will go towards expanding direct services in the field, including food, showers, and staffing. This expansion includes the addition of a licensed clinical social worker and case managers to support existing case managers with their caseloads. Around 72% of the funding will be allocated to a range of permanent and supportive housing options for individuals in the ERF program.

“The focus that we are up to was to really expand interim and permanent housing options,” Costales emphasized.

The 72% allocation will be divided as follows: $414,000 for deposit and rent assistance programs, $1.2 million for the construction of 16 interim housing units at the homeless shelter, and $1.3 million for both interim and permanent housing options. This will include the availability of eight rooms designated for three years of interim housing in various locations throughout Tulare, as well as 15 rooms designated for 15 years of permanent housing for individuals in need.

The remaining 2.5% of the awarded funds will be allocated to cover costs incurred by city staff, such as training, mileage, and other necessary expenses.

Costales acknowledged that none of this progress would have been possible without the support of individuals, nonprofits, and various organizations working tirelessly to assist those in need. He shared that, on average, the encampment provides approximately 2,800 meals and 322 showers per month. Costales attributed the success of the project to the city’s partners, including Kingsview, Kings, and Tulare Homeless Alliance, Salt+Light, Adventist Health Tulare, Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency, and Clean the World Foundation.

“They’re the ones driving this project. City staff serves as project oversight and grant administrators, and at the end of the day, it’s all those professional staffs doing their jobs well,” Costales acknowledged. “The successes and the learning that we were able to identify, and areas of improvement, helped us compete for that funding. And gosh, we’re gonna have a great foundation here, plenty of hard and meaningful work ahead, but it’s going to allow us to scale and get more folks indoors ultimately.”

Tulare was one of 23 projects in 22 communities statewide to receive funding. The recent allocation, announced by the Governor’s office, totaled $199 million—the third and largest round of ERF grants distributed. Across the Central Valley, the city of Fresno received $17 million to serve approximately 1,300 individuals.

According to a press release from the Governor’s office, ERF is administered by the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency (BCSH) and the California Interagency Council on Homelessness (Cal ICH). Over half of the projects aim to resolve encampments along state rights-of-way. The project, designed by Governor Newsom and the legislature, provides communities of all sizes with the necessary funding to move people living in encampments into permanent housing. Previously, 26 communities were awarded $96 million from the fund over two rounds.

In total, the administration has proposed providing $750 million to support 10,000 individuals currently living without shelter in dangerous conditions on the streets.

Chris has been in the marketing industry for well over a decade. Chris loves writing about anything related to saving money. A passion for teaching people through writing has given him a unique opportunity to use his skills in the marketing industry. In his spare time he likes spending time with his family. training his new puppy, and taking long road trips to places like Banff & Lake Louise, Alberta.
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments